Listen To Our Podcast Online.
For the first episode of season two, we dive into a discussion of branding. We often hear the terms “brand” and “branding,” but how many of us can really explain it?
We know it relates to self-marketing, but we might not view it as relevant for us if we don’t own a business or if we’re not a public figure.
As Jeff Bezos says, “”Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
For this episode, branding expert Peter Wilken joins the Upskill Community to define a brand and gives listeners three key questions that they can use to discover/uncover what their brand is.
Please go to UpSkillCommunity.com to review show notes and join a community of leaders devoted to UpSkilling.
This is season two, episode one of UpSkill talks. We are so delighted to welcome you to season two.
In this episode, I’m going to share with you the top three questions you need to ask to really know what your brand is.
In season one, we laid the foundation by providing you information on the fundamentals of soft skills. We talked about definitions: such as what is a skill and what exactly do we mean when we talk about Upskilling.
We talked about areas that we struggle with:
And we talked about how we feel under the gaze and scrutiny of others and how things like imposter syndrome show up in our lives and how much we value community. In season two, we’re switching gears. And all of what we’ve done in season one prepares us for the deeper conversations that we will engage in in season two.
Season two is all about conversations that you care about. We’re kicking off our conversations on branding. And first up is the brand guru himself: The dolphin brand man, Peter Wilkin. Peter Wilkin and I discussed what a “brand” is and what we mean when we talk about “branding.” The concept of a brand and branding can be very fluffy. There’s so much out there on these topics. And it’s so fluffy at times that it’s hard to cut through the mist, and get to what is substantive and actionable for the average person. It sometimes seems like branding applies only to big companies and less at the individual level. And so I want us to start and to level set and pretend we’re starting from the beginning. Peter Wilken joined I, and other Upskillers in the community to answer “What is a brand?”
It’s a great question and it’s a good starting point. And you know, even if you ask us those supposed branding experts, they won’t all agree on what the definition of a brand is. So ask around. Mine doesn’t have to be the right answer.
For me, there’s tons of jargon and there’s way too much complexity and it’s much more simple than people think. A brand to me, is a perception. It’s a territory in the mind. It’s what your most valued stakeholders think of you, how they feel about you, how you are perceived. It’s not necessarily a tangible thing.
How do you end up owning that territory in the mind? By delivering a relevant, compelling, differentiating, incredible promise to them in a way that you do consistently.
In a way that remains relevant, that remains compelling and interesting. You can’t bore people into buying your product or service or, or patronizing your brand. But that’s what it is. It’s a territory in the mind.
Once you understand that, and can capture it and replicate it, that is what your brand DNA is. Your brand DNA is like its genetic counterpart. It’s a template for replicating consistent desired future experiences with your most valuable stakeholders. This is what we stand for. This is what we believe. This is what we deliver to you. This is our promise, and this is the benefit that you’ll derive from us.
This is our culture, our way of speaking and delivering. And these are a few recognizable icons and attributes that will remind you about us. Ultimately, this is why we exist. This is one way where a personal brand probably has things to teach the corporate brands.
If you think about why you exist in order to serve others in a meaningful way, that’s a great approach for building your personal brand. It’s also exactly the same for a corporate brand or a product brand. Why do you exist to serve? What is it that you deliver for them in a way that delivers them meaning?
All of those elements combine together, become your DNA, and you articulate it in a way that’s completely unique to you, that’s easy enough to understand, but rich enough to replicate the complexity of what your brand is.
A brand is like a person. You are complex. You have moods. You can behave differently according to different situations. But the core characteristics, your beliefs system and your ideology remains pretty consistent. People will create impressions of you just from what they know of you. And that may be a very fleeting thing.
A first impression may be all they get. So they may not get more than what they see, or maybe a secondary opinion from somebody else that they value that would carry weight, for example. Or they may have known you all their lives and so they really know the nuance of your character.
And it’s the same with stakeholders, with your brand. Most people won’t get more than a superficial thing, so what are they going to pick? You need to make sure that you are kind of singular, that you stand for something, that you own something. And you’ll only do that if you are very clear about what it is you stand for.
Communicate your benefits and deliver them consistently because you may never get a second chance to get your message across. It’s far better that you’re known for one thing, than not known for anything.
What I’m hearing Peter say is that we do not own our brand. And so the idea of who we are and what our business does sits in the minds of our stakeholders.
It’s out there somewhere. And that means we need to be doing exploration to uncover and discover exactly what our brand is. What I’m hearing Peter say is that we do not own our brand. And so the idea of who we are and what our business does sits in the minds of our stakeholders. It’s out there somewhere.
And that means we need to be doing exploration to uncover and discover exactly what our brand is.
And so Peter offers up a few questions for you to consider. Seek out peers, stakeholders, customers, and ask them these three questions:
1. What springs to mind when I say my name, or the name of my company, or the name of my brand?
2.What value do I bring? What value does my brand bring?
3. Why do I exist? Why does my brand exist? What does my brand do to serve others.
With these three questions, you can start to uncover what your brand is in the minds of your stakeholders. As Jeff Bezos says — which lines up with what Peter Wilken has been saying —”Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Ask these questions. And let’s get on board with learning more about our brand. We’ll continue this conversation with Peter Wilkin in the next post. There is much more to learn about your brand and branding.
With these three questions, you can start to uncover what your brand is in the minds of your stakeholders. As Jeff Bezos says — which lines up with what Peter Wilken has been saying —”Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Ask these questions. And let’s get on board with learning more about our brand. We’ll continue this conversation with Peter Wilkin in the next post. There is much more to learn about your brand and branding.
Thank you for listening to this episode of UpSkill Talks brought to you by McGraw Hill. We bring you new episodes every Monday. Please take a moment to subscribe, leave a five star rating and a written review wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Don’t forget to share UpSkill talks with other leaders like yourself. So they too may gain the skills and insights to produce amazing results. Please go to UpSkillCommunity.com to review show notes and learn how you can join a community of leaders from across the globe collaborating to lead in a more meaningful and impactful way. I’m your host, Michel Shah. And again, thank you for joining me on this episode of UpSkill Talks.
There was a problem reporting this post.
Please confirm you want to block this member.
You will no longer be able to:
Please allow a few minutes for this process to complete.